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Bandit Running Secret Marketing Strategy: Steal Them Now.

In the competitive world of ecommerce, new DTC (direct-to-consumer) brands need innovative marketing strategies to stand out and achieve sustainable growth. While traditional marketing methods still hold value, emerging brands are increasingly turning to community-focused and storytelling-driven approaches to build strong, loyal customer bases. 

Bandit Running, an athletic wear brand, exemplifies how prioritizing community and authenticity can lead to remarkable success.

This blog will delve into the secret marketing strategies that have propelled Bandit Running to success, providing actionable insights for new ecommerce DTC brand founders. From building a dedicated community to leveraging authentic storytelling and strategic retail practices, we’ll explore how these tactics can enhance your brand’s visibility, engagement, and growth.

Building Community First

A strong, engaged community is the foundation of a successful ecommerce brand. For Bandit Running, focusing on building a community rather than just pushing sales has been pivotal. Here’s how they did it and how you can apply similar strategies to your brand.

Importance of Prioritizing Community

When Bandit Running was launched, the founders made a conscious decision to prioritize community engagement over immediate sales. This approach helped them build a loyal customer base that feels personally connected to the brand. For new ecommerce DTC brands, this strategy can lead to sustainable growth and a strong market presence.

Case Study: Bandit Running’s Focus on the New York Running Community

Bandit Running’s growth is deeply rooted in New York’s vibrant and diverse running community. By actively participating in local running events and supporting community initiatives, they built a brand that runners naturally gravitate towards. This community-centric approach not only fosters loyalty but also enhances word-of-mouth marketing, a powerful tool for any new brand.

Strategies for Creating an Inclusive and Engaged Community

To build a similar community, consider the following strategies:

  • Active Participation: Engage with local events and groups that align with your brand’s values. Show genuine interest in your community’s activities and needs.
  • Inclusivity: Create an inclusive culture that welcomes diverse individuals and promotes a sense of belonging. Highlight and celebrate your community members through your brand’s channels.
  • Consistent Interaction: Regularly interact with your community through social media, newsletters, and events. Foster a dialogue where customers feel heard and valued.

By focusing on these elements, you can build a strong, engaged community that will support your brand’s growth.

By focusing on community, authenticity, and direct engagement, you can create a loyal customer base and achieve sustainable growth for your ecommerce brand.

Origin and Organic Growth

Understanding your brand’s origin and fostering organic growth are crucial steps in building a successful ecommerce business. Bandit Running’s journey offers valuable lessons in leveraging existing communities and adapting to market changes.

Natural Evolution from Existing Communities

Bandit Running’s roots lie in the Brooklyn Track Club and the founders’ experiences in skateboard and surf communities. These backgrounds provided a natural, authentic foundation for the brand. Leveraging existing communities can help your brand grow organically, as these groups often share strong bonds and mutual interests.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly influenced Bandit Running’s growth. With more people taking up running during the lockdowns, the brand tapped into this surge by offering products that met the new demand. This adaptability showcases the importance of staying attuned to market changes and being ready to pivot when opportunities arise.

Lessons on Leveraging Existing Communities

For new ecommerce DTC brands, here are key takeaways:

  • Identify Natural Alignments: Look for existing communities that align with your brand’s values and products. Engage authentically and become a part of these groups.
  • Adapt to Market Trends: Stay flexible and ready to adapt to changing market conditions. Identify trends early and adjust your offerings to meet new demands.
  • Organic Growth: Focus on building genuine relationships within these communities. Organic growth, driven by word-of-mouth and authentic connections, can be more sustainable and impactful than aggressive marketing campaigns.

Brand and Product Synergy

Ensuring that your brand and products are in harmony is essential for creating a cohesive and compelling market presence. Bandit Running’s approach to product development and brand identity offers valuable insights.

Importance of Aligning Product Development with Brand Identity

When developing new products, it’s crucial to ensure they reflect your brand’s values and identity. Bandit Running started with practical items like high-quality socks, which addressed specific needs within their community. This focus on quality and functionality helped establish their credibility and brand resonance.

Bandit Running’s Initial Product Focus

Bandit Running’s initial focus on creating practical, high-quality products like socks set the tone for their brand. These products were not only functional but also resonated with their community’s needs, helping to build a strong brand identity from the outset.

Ensuring Brand Resonance with the Target Community

To ensure your brand resonates with your target community, consider these strategies:

  • Understand Community Needs: Conduct research to understand the specific needs and preferences of your target audience. Develop products that address these needs effectively.
  • Quality and Practicality: Prioritize quality and practicality in your product development. High-quality products that solve real problems will naturally attract and retain customers.
  • Consistent Messaging: Maintain consistent messaging across all your marketing channels. Ensure that your products and brand communications reflect your core values and resonate with your community.

By aligning your product development with your brand identity, you can create a cohesive and compelling presence that attracts and retains customers.

Community-Based Branding

A community-based branding approach can significantly enhance your brand’s growth strategy. Bandit Running’s mission-driven branding offers a model for how to align with and empower existing communities.

Mission-Driven Branding Approach

Bandit Running’s branding is driven by a mission to enhance the running experience and connect the global running community. This mission-driven approach helps create a strong emotional connection with their audience, fostering loyalty and engagement.

Aligning with Existing Communities

Rather than trying to create new communities, Bandit Running aligns with existing ones. This strategy allows them to tap into established networks and build authentic relationships. For new ecommerce DTC brands, aligning with existing communities can be more effective than attempting to build new ones from scratch.

Empowering and Inspiring the Community

To empower and inspire your community, consider these strategies:

  • Engage Authentically: Engage with your community in an authentic and meaningful way. Show genuine interest in their activities and support their initiatives.
  • Provide Value: Offer value through your products, content, and interactions. Help your community members achieve their goals and improve their experiences.
  • Celebrate Achievements: Highlight and celebrate the achievements of your community members. Share their stories and successes to foster a sense of pride and belonging.

By focusing on these elements, you can create a strong, mission-driven brand that resonates with and empowers your community.

In-Person and Virtual Interactions

Engaging with your community through both in-person and virtual interactions is crucial for building strong relationships and enhancing your brand’s visibility.

Engaging Through Events and Virtual Platforms

Bandit Running actively engages with their community through in-person events and virtual platforms. These interactions help build deeper connections and foster a sense of belonging.

Supporting and Amplifying Existing Clubs and Events

Supporting existing clubs and events is a key strategy for Bandit Running. By amplifying these initiatives, they provide added value to their community and strengthen their brand’s presence.

Building Deeper Connections

To build deeper connections through in-person and virtual interactions, consider these strategies:

  • Host Events: Organize events that bring your community together. These can be in-person meetups, virtual workshops, or online forums.
  • Participate Actively: Participate in community events and support local initiatives. Show that you are an active and engaged member of the community.
  • Facilitate Conversations: Create platforms for your community to connect and share their experiences. Encourage discussions and interactions among your community members.

By engaging with your community through both in-person and virtual interactions, you can build stronger relationships and enhance your brand’s visibility.

running group

Storytelling as a Core Strategy

Effective storytelling is a powerful tool for making your brand relatable and engaging. Bandit Running’s authentic storytelling approach offers valuable lessons for new ecommerce DTC brands.

The Power of Authenticity in Storytelling

Authentic storytelling helps create a genuine connection with your audience. Bandit Running’s stories resonate because they highlight real, sometimes messy aspects of running, making them relatable and engaging.

Highlighting Real, Raw, and Relatable Aspects

To create compelling stories, focus on the real, raw, and relatable aspects of your brand. Share behind-the-scenes content, customer stories, and personal experiences that reflect your brand’s values and mission.

Techniques for Effective Storytelling

Here are some techniques to enhance your storytelling:

  • Be Genuine: Authenticity is key. Share real stories and experiences that reflect your brand’s values.
  • Use Visuals: Incorporate visuals such as photos and videos to make your stories more engaging and impactful.
  • Engage Emotions: Tap into your audience’s emotions by sharing stories that evoke feelings of joy, inspiration, or empathy.
  • Consistency: Maintain a consistent narrative across all your marketing channels. Ensure that your stories align with your brand’s overall message and values.

By leveraging authentic storytelling, you can create a strong emotional connection with your audience and make your brand more relatable and engaging.

Retail Strategy

A well-thought-out retail strategy can enhance your brand’s visibility and customer engagement. Bandit Running’s use of their physical store as a community hub offers insights into effective retail strategies.

Using Physical Stores as Community Hubs

Bandit Running’s store in Brooklyn serves as more than just a retail space; it’s a community hub. Located on a popular running route, it attracts runners and fosters a sense of community.

Benefits of Direct Customer Interaction

Direct interactions with customers in the store provide valuable insights into their needs and preferences. This feedback helps inform product development and decision-making.

Strategic Location Considerations

When choosing a location for your physical store, consider places where your target community naturally gathers. Strategic locations can enhance foot traffic and community engagement.

Pop-Up Events

Pop-up events are a dynamic way to engage with your community and boost brand visibility. Bandit Running’s strategic use of pop-up events offers valuable lessons for new ecommerce DTC brands.

Utilizing Pop-Up Events for Engagement

Bandit Running leverages pop-up events during major marathons to engage with their community and increase brand visibility. These events provide an opportunity to showcase products and interact directly with customers.

Adopting a Scrappy, Budget-Friendly Approach

Initially adopting a budget-friendly, scrappy approach to pop-up events allows for testing their viability without significant financial risk. This approach helps gauge interest and effectiveness before scaling up.

Measuring Success Through Participation and Demand

Track the success of pop-up events by measuring participation and product demand. High turnout and quick product sell-outs indicate strong community engagement and effective marketing.


Bandit Running’s journey provides valuable insights into these strategies. By focusing on community, authenticity, and direct engagement, you can create a loyal customer base and achieve sustainable growth for your ecommerce brand. 

Want to implement these strategies without sacrificing them? Visit Soodo and see if we can work together with you to unlock your brand’s full potential and navigate the competitive ecommerce landscape with confidence.


Soodo is an eCommerce Venture Builder for Purpose-driven Brands | We build & scale profitable DTC businesses.

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